Chapter Five:
The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Copyright © 2006 Wadsworth
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Symbols and Meaning
 Symbols are Arbitrary
 Not Intrinsically Connected to what they Represent
 We Can Create Private Codes
 Language and Meaning Change over Time
Copyright © 2006 Wadsworth
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Symbols are Ambiguous
 Meaning is not Clear Cut or Fixed
 May have Agreed Upon Range of Meaning
 Explains why Misunderstandings Occur
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Symbols are Abstract
 Meaning is not Concrete or Tangible
 Increased Abstraction Leads to
Increased Confusion
Complicate Relationships
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 Overly Abstract Language can
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
CNN, Human Communication, Volume IV
Jargon and Gobbledygook
Copyright © 2006 Wadsworth
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Principles of Verbal
Communication
 Interpretation Creates Meaning
 Communication is Rule Guided
 Regulative Rules
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 Communication Rules
 Constitutive Rules
Copyright © 2006 Wadsworth
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Principles of Verbal
Communication
 Punctuation Affects Meaning
 Demand/Withdrawal Patterns
I pursue you
because you
withdraw.
Copyright © 2006 Wadsworth
8
Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Principles of Verbal
Communication
 Punctuation Affects Meaning
 Demand/Withdrawal Patterns
I pursue you
because you
withdraw.
Copyright © 2006 Wadsworth
I withdraw
because you
pursue me.
9
Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Principles of Verbal
Communication
 Punctuation Affects Meaning
 Demand/Withdrawal Patterns
I pursue you
because you
withdraw.
Copyright © 2006 Wadsworth
I withdraw
because you
pursue me.
I pursue
harder
because you
withdraw
further.
10
Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Principles of Verbal
Communication
 Punctuation Affects Meaning
 Demand/Withdrawal Patterns
Copyright © 2006 Wadsworth
I pursue you
because you
withdraw.
I withdraw
because you
pursue me.
I am withdrawing
because you are
pursuing me
harder.
I pursue
harder
because you
withdraw
further.
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Symbolic Abilities
 Symbols Define
 Experiences, People, Relationships,
Feelings, Thoughts
 Symbols Evaluate
 Loaded Language
Copyright © 2006 Wadsworth
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 Totalizing
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Symbolic Abilities
 Symbols Organize Perceptions
 Prototypes
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 Cognitive Schema
 Distortions and Stereotypes
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Symbolic Abilities
 Symbols Allow Hypothetical Thought
 Reflection
 Self-Improvement
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 History and Future
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Symbolic Abilities
 Symbols Allow Self-reflection
 The I - The Spontaneous Creative Self
 The Me - The Reflective Part of the Self
 Allows Self-monitoring
 Allows Image Management - Facework
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Enhancing Effectiveness in
Verbal Communication
Engage in Dual Perspective
 Recognized Other’s Point of View
 Don’t Abandon Own Perspective
 Unethical to Stifle Own Views
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Enhancing Effectiveness in
Verbal Communication
Own Your Feelings and Thoughts
 Our Feelings Result from Our Interpretations
 Effective Communicators Take Responsibility
 I Language and You Language
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Communication Scenarios, Wadsworth/Thomson
Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Copyright © 2006 Wadsworth
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Enhancing Effectiveness in
Verbal Communication
Respect What Others Say about Their
Feelings and Ideas
Disrespectful when We Speak for Others
Don’t Assume Understanding
Be Aware of Cultural Differences in Meaning
Copyright © 2006 Wadsworth
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Enhancing Effectiveness in
Verbal Communication
Strive for Accuracy and Clarity
 Be Aware of Levels of Abstraction
 Qualify Language
 Indexing
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 Static Evaluation
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Ch5: The Verbal Dimension of Communication
Copyright © 2006 Wadsworth
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